Combs, St. Paul's finish Loyola in OT 7-6 win clinches division for No. 2 Crusaders

April 24, 1996|By Steven Kivinski | Steven Kivinski,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Senior attackman Buggs Combs didn't match the seven goals and one assist he produced when St. Paul's defeated Loyola in its B Division opener earlier this month.

The Calvert Hall transfer was limited to two goals yesterday at Loyola's wind-swept Hargaden Field, but it was the timing of his second goal that had No. 2 St. Paul's celebrating its Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference division title.

With just under two minutes remaining in the first overtime period, Combs spun past Loyola defender Pat Miller and fired a low shot past Loyola goalie Pat McGinnis, giving the visiting Crusaders a 7-6 victory and a first-round bye in the playoffs.

"Coach [Rick] Brocato has a saying that 'we work the hardest,' so we knew if we went out there and pulled together as a team, we could get it," said Combs, whose team beat McDonogh in overtime, 12-11, and Gilman in double-overtime, 11-10.

"We knew that they were fighting tooth and nail to stay in contention for a bye, but now they aren't."

Key injuries on both teams and some fine goaltending from McGinnis (14 saves) and St. Paul's senior Rich Yost (11 saves) made for a low-scoring first quarter.

Loyola scored the only goal in the first quarter, as Chris Purpura beat the buzzer on a feed from Pat Jackson.

Senior midfielder Harris Thompson scored back-to-back goals early in the second quarter to put the Crusaders ahead, 2-1, but Brian McLane tied it up 17 seconds later on an assist from Arthur Price.

Combs' quick-stick goal on a strong pass from Conor Gill (two assists) gave the visitors a 3-2 lead with 7: 56 left in the half.

"We're banged up, but we got guys stepping up all over the field," said St. Paul's Brocato. "David deVilliers played on a hurt ankle and Chris Berrier came in with a hurt foot and won us a couple faceoffs. Our defense played well and Richie Yost played well."

St. Paul's (9-1, 3-0 in its division and 3-0 in overtime) used Berrier on its faceoffs in the second half and the move paid off. After falling behind 5-3 on goals by Chris Malone and Mark Knysh, the Crusaders rallied and eventually tied the game at 6 on Thompson's third goal of the game.

Loyola (6-4) had several opportunities to regain the lead in the fourth quarter but struggled with the fundamentals down the stretch.

"We're 18 games into the season and we have players who cannot throw an uncontested pass to another player to catch it, and that we've got to fix, and our shooting," said Loyola coach Joe McFadden.

"We just didn't hit the goal. We've struggled all year shooting the ball. We break open, take an outside shot, and it's a high-side stick save too many times. We're just not making the goalie work."

Dulaney 10, Catonsville 3: Bill Kauffman scored five goals and had an assist to lead the No. 8 Lions over visiting Catonsville in a game that was stopped because of lightning after three quarters but ruled a complete game.

Joe High added three goals for Dulaney (7-1).

Pub Date: 4/24/96

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